Calcasieu Parish School Board CTO Responds to Claim That Server Was Hacked

Claim that School Board Server Was Hacked and Response From CPSB CTO

Updated Aug. 23, 2018, at 8:48 PM

A Facebook page that goes by the name “CPSB Watch” made the claim that one of the servers for the Calcasieu Parish School Board was hacked and ransomware was placed on it. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that usually locks users out of their computer or other devices and requests that they pay a ransom to regain access. In the post, CPSB Watch also asked school board members to let the public know what information was obtained, and if CPSB paid the ransom for the claimed attack.

Below is the claim made by CPSB Watch as well as a response from the Chief Technology Officer of the Calcasieu Parish School Board.

Text and screenshot of the post by CPSB Watch.

We have just learned sometime during the Spring 2018, one of the Servers for CPSB was hacked and the Ransom virus was put on said Server. We are aware CPSB had all its employees change their login passwords in May. However, we do not know the extent of information that was gained by the Hack nor are we aware of CPSB ever making a public statement of the Hack. We are asking board members to please reach out and let the public know what confidential information was obtained as a result of the Hack and did CPSB pay the ransom to get it’s server back.

CPSB Watch Claim of Hack

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Calcasieu Parish School Board Sheryl Romero Abshire responded to the claim in a comment on the post. Below is her response.

CPSB Watch, someone just sent me the original post above. As the Chief Technology Officer for the CPSB school district, I feel it is important to correct this misinformation that has been posted.

No CPSB servers have been hacked and no information has been compromised. Therefore, we have not been asked for, nor have we paid any ransom. We have never paid any ransom. We routinely ask all employees to update and check security software on employee computers and we are doing this now. As the largest, most sophisticated network in this region we are constantly being probed and tries are made to attack us. Unfortunately, this is the nature of technology use today, but please know that we are well-protected against these attempts

Additionally, the changing of all CPSB user passwords last Spring was just another routine security precaution that was taken.

I can assure you and our public that we are judicious in our protection of all district data at every level.

I would be happy to address any and all concerns that anyone in the public might have. I can be reached at [email protected]

Updated: The following information was added to this article on Aug. 23, 2018, at 8:48 PM

CPSB Watch posted an update regarding ransomware allegedly being found on a Calcasieu Parish School Board server. In the update, CPSB Watch indicated that they still believe the “hack” did indeed happen. Along with the new post, CPSB Watch included a photo of what appears to be a notification sent out to Calcasieu Parish School Board employees. The notice prompted employees to be sure Bitdefender is installed on all school board computers. Bitdefender is the name of a company that provides several types of computer security software and protection software.

Below is the text of the new post by CPSB Watch along with a photo of the notification mentioned.

 CPSB Watch feels the information it received regarding a ransom virus on CPSB Servers is in deed correct. Based on information the virus was discussed in detail during a summer workshop attended by several CPSB IT team members. Based on the information that has been posted by the Chief Technology Director and one of our readers it would appear there has not been any personal data lost. We also feel that a ransom was requested and denied because CPSB had the fail safe backup in place. The timing of this hack also appears to have been in the spring. Additional information was also received after the original post went up that indicates the same day that post went up and actually prior to the post CPSB sent out an alert to all employees regarding threats and attempted hacks to the system. The pictures are proof that did occur. The intent of making these post are not to give CPSB a black eye because these events are happening everyday in every sector. They are a part of the world we live in. The intent of the post is to create an open and honest environment that will work to improving the trustworthiness of the CPSB and to foster a culture that does not attempt to hide any and all blemishes.

CPSB Watch Tech Support Alert

The full posts and comments can be found on the CPSB Watch Facebook page.

Calcasieu Parish Information News / is not affiliated with the Calcasieu Parish School Board or CPSB Watch.